Flu is already circulating, but you do have time to get your flu shot and build up your immunity before more holiday events bring groups of people together to celebrate the season. Influenza is a serious respiratory disease that can cause several days of moderate to severe illness, and for some who are immune-compromised and vulnerable to circulating infections, complications from flu can cause hospitalization or death. Influenza vaccination is the best preventative. An annual vaccination is necessary because different strains of flu viruses can be circulating each year and the vaccine needs to be matched to the circulating viruses to be most effective.
In addition to the flu shot, good cough and sneeze etiquette is important. Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or the bend of your arm helps prevent the spread of flu viruses to others. Good hand hygiene is another important method of preventing the spread of germs. Either thoroughly wash hands with warm water and soap for about 20 seconds, drying with a paper towel, and using the towel to shut off the faucet or scrub with hand sanitizer until your hands are dry.
If you start to feel sick with flu, contact your health care provider within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Antiviral medications can lessen the duration and severity of flu symptoms. The contagious period for flu can be a day before symptoms arrive until several days after you become sick. Stay home from school or work if you are sick. You need to heal and also not spread viruses to others. "Herd immunity" does work if enough people in a community get vaccine to protect everyone from illness. To learn more about influenza, read on :